A fun and easy way to spice up your home for the holiday season that you and your family can enjoy.
My name is Tina de Araujo and I work at the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton Ma. I am a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, and I love my job. Working with people of all ages and abilities is what I was born to do. And modifying and adapting tools and situations to fit an individual’s unique needs is my specialty. I love reinventing the wheel, and thinking creatively.
Enough about myself, let get to it! I am excited to be writing my first blog post for all you followers of this fantastic blog.
After experiencing vision loss, it can feel as though decorating for the holidays is pointless. If you are no longer able to enjoy the twinkling lights on the tree, the shimmering garland around the door, it may seem like more of a bother than anything to put up decorations.
Just hang on a second. You may feel this way, and that is understandable, but just think how appreciative family and friends will be of your festive decorations. And I am sure they will enjoy all of your creative efforts to decorate.
It is time to start thinking about your other senses. Sure, your vision changes may have compromised your ability to visually enjoy your traditional holiday decorations, but how about music? Playing some holiday music can help get you into the spirit of the season. And what about your sense of touch? Snuggle on the couch, or in your favorite spot with a fleece blanket to help you feel Wintery!
And for my favorite, smell. Nothing is better than the smell of cinnamon in the winter to bring back fond memories of holidays past. Candles may be an unsafe “go too” at this time, so why not make your own scented ornaments (or just shapes), to help make your home smell magical.
I have a recipe that I am going to share with you all today that is simple, fairly inexpensive, and kid friendly if you have some tots around that would like to assist you in this project.
The ingredients for this ornament recipe are:
2/3 cup cinnamon ( I used a regular size jar from Target)
2/3 cup applesauce (kid’s lunch size, can be sweetened or unsweetened)
1 tablespoon Elmer’s white glue
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If the cookie sheet is not non-stick, use parchment paper.
Note: feel free to cut this in half, or add a pinch or two of other spices like nutmeg or allspice
Combine the three ingredients in a bowl and mix until it is all well combined. It will be similar to a thick, semi-sticky batter.
Grab a generous glob, and flatten it out with your hand.
When the dough is about a quarter of an inch thick, you can use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes of your choice. Place the cut shapes onto a cookie sheet. They do not spread, so you do not need to worry about having them spaced very far apart.
If you would like to make holes in the shapes for hanging you may do so prior to baking/drying. Use a skewer, crochet needle… anything you have around that you think will work.
When you are all set with the cinnamon shapes on the cookie tray, you are ready to place them in the oven.
‘Cook’ the cinnamon shapes in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 1.5 (an hour and a half).
This will help dry them out. If you are not an oven user, no problem. Just place the shapes that you are cutting onto a cooling rack and let the shapes dry for a few days. The thicker the shapes are, the longer it takes for them to dry.
Enjoy your homemade scented ornaments, because everyone else that comes to visit sure will!
These could always be a fun way to garnish a present or a holiday table.